Plants are such a lovely little piece of nature that we can control, but pests are not. Unfortunately, these little buggers will eventually find their way into your houseplants. Yes, even plants inside your home can fall victim to unwanted visitors!
However, they can be easily contained and dealt with once they’ve been spotted. The best way to protect your plants from pests is simply by taking care of them! Improper care can weaken your plants, leaving them vulnerable to infestation. Here are five ways you can protect your plants and keep them happy, healthy, and thriving.
1. Isolate New Plants
It’s so much fun bringing home a new plant. You’ve probably even picked out the perfect spot for it. Won’t your new monstera deliciosa look perfect next to that rubber tree? Before you place your new plant in its new home, it’s safer to keep it away from the other plants in your home. Inspect the underside of the leaves, the stems, the soil, and the roots if possible. A monstera has aerial roots, meaning it has roots above ground that act as support structures, so be sure to check those thoroughly. If you see any signs of pests, identify the type and treat accordingly. It’s recommended to quarantine a new plant for at least two weeks before bringing it near your other houseplants. But don’t worry, your beautiful split leaf philodendron will be much happier because of it!
2. Repel Bugs Naturally
You can keep insects at bay by taking action to prevent them from infesting in the first place. For indoor plants, you can place a clove of garlic just beneath the soil. You can also repel a large variety of bugs with catnip. It’s also important to have good air circulation around your plants. Regularly fertilizing your plants and giving them plant food will keep them strong against insects.
In gardens, you can plant strong-smelling herbs such as peppermint and basil. If you have a problem with mosquitos in your area, there are natural ways to repel them. While most pesticides can contain harmful ingredients, mosquito repellent natural contains natural ingredients such as lemongrass oil and castor oil. This spray that kills mosquitos and ticks quickly and safely.
3. Keep Plants Clean
Neglected plants are very appealing to bugs. Be sure to show your plants some TLC every now and then. This means you should regularly wipe down their leaves. A swiss cheese plant has big beautiful leaves that attract a lot of dust! Wipe them down with a damp cloth so it’s easier for the plant to absorb light. Refresh topsoil by removing a quarter from the top and replacing it with fresh soil. It’s important to regularly prune away any dead leaves or stems, too.
4. Watch the Water
Damp soil is a breeding ground for bugs like fungus gnats. These pesky bugs don’t usually harm a plant, but they can affect new root growth. It’s always best to let the soil of a plant dry out between waterings. When in doubt, stick your finger in the soil. If it’s damp, you can wait another day before watering. If you do find those annoying fungus gnats, get some neem oil and spray the topsoil.
5. Use New Soil
When you repot a plant, it’s best to use new, sterile soil. There’s no telling what may be in soil that was used for another plant. It’s also important to use soil that is meant for houseplants, as this type has the correct amount of nutrients and drainage additives like pearlite. Avoid using open bags of soil that have sat out in the sun, and make sure to rinse out any pots before putting a new plant in it.
As stated before, the best way to protect your plant is to care for it properly. Follow these steps and your houseplants will be safe and growing beautifully!